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I literally just got a thrill typing out that title–oh, if I could have it for my own! I remember going to a panel for the New Yorker‘s 20 Under 40 issue and when someone asked who should have been the 21st on the list, at least three panelists answered Maile Meloy. At the time I’d only read her story “Liliana,” which, though I like it, was one of just two or three stories I was ambivalent about in the collection. Now that I’ve torn through the whole thing in a day, though, I would easily kick off some of those other writers on the list to give her a spot. Also, now that I’ve read the whole collection in one day, I wish I had stretched it out a bit more. But as far as ways to spend the beginning of Labor Day weekend go, sitting in the orange light that comes through my living room window, listening to folk music and reading Maile Meloy is pretty satisfying.

At least three stories in this collection sparked within me a pure feeing of recognition–I could see in turns of phrases, structural choices and juxtapositions of sentences exactly what I try to do in my own writing. Maile Meloy is my new ultimate aspiration. For example, take this exchange in the story Spy vs. Spy: Read the rest of this entry »